Monday, October 29, 2012

Healing Charcot Foot - The Need for Speed!

Of all the foot conditions that can affect your ability to lead a normal and active life, Charcot foot is probably one of the most difficult to deal with. This condition begins with peripheral neuropathy, which is loss of feeling in the feet. Your inability to feel pain allows this condition to worsen because without the pain sensation, you may not recognize that a problem exists. Continued weight bearing causes bones to begin to break and splinter, then heal improperly and causing deformity. It is possible for you to break bones and damage joints and not even be aware of it. Early diagnosis and treatment is the only way that the damaging effects of Charcot foot can be set right.

Never underestimate the importance of rest. Stopping weight bearing activity is crucial to successful treatment and in addition to total rest for the foot while it heals, your doctor may recommend a special device such as a cast, wheel chair, crutches, walker or brace. Listen to your doctor. The fact that you do not process pain is a major concern. You may feel fine and think you are well, but if the healing process is not complete, you will cause more damage.

If you continue walking on your foot, the deformity may cause ulcers to develop. Infection or amputation is possible.

Dr. Boucher will work with you to develop a treatment plan. Call (203) 238-3668 for an appointment. If you seek early intervention, treatment methods may consist of elevation, icing, casts or braces. A delay may cause severe complications and result in the need for surgery or amputation. Stay on the winning side of foot health by learning to examine your feet daily, carefully looking for signs of warmth, swelling and redness. Hustle in to see your doctor if you notice something amiss.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Toenail Fungus Requires Rapid Response

Feet with polished nails
Feet with polished nails (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Procrastination is the enemy when dealing with toenail fungal infection. The call to action requires a quick response in order to avoid the spread of this common problem.

Symptoms of a nail fungal infection, or onychomycosis, may first start as a small white or yellowish spots under the tip of your nails. If left untreated, it may progress to cause brittle, crumbling and darkening nails. The build-up of fungus may cause the nail to become yellow and thickened, eventually to the point that it becomes irregular and leads to pain. Toenail fungus may lead to other infections with serious medical ramifications if you are in an at risk group such as diabetic or someone with a weakened immune system.

You should see a doctor at the first indication of nail fungus because they are persistent, and difficult to get rid of. A fungal nail infection can easily spread to other toenails. Your doctor will need to begin you on a treatment of medication in order to eliminate this infection.

The tiny organisms that make up this fungus do not require sunlight for survival. In fact, they thrive in dark, warm and moist environments. Inside your tennis shoes is the perfect breeding ground.
Knowing you are at risk and taking the appropriate precautions is about all you can do as far as prevention goes. You are at increased risk to contract the fungus if you are:
  • Male
  • Prone to other skin problems such as psoriasis
  • Perspire heavily
  • Work in warm and damp environments
  • Barefoot in public pool or shower areas
  • Diabetic with poor circulation
Nail infections are resilient to many of the over the counter preparations and even if you were to think it was cured, the infection is apt to sneak back. Oral medications may be prescribed, but there are risks to these antifungal medications including skin break-outs and liver damage.

What can you do to prevent nail fungus?
  • Keep nails short, dry and clean.
  • Wear moisture wicking socks.
  • Allow shoes to air out and dry between wearings.
  • Don’t go barefoot in public showers or pool areas.
  • Wash and dry feet thoroughly.
At the first sign of nail fungus, make an appointment with Dr. Boucher at (203)238-3668. She will be able to determine the type of infection. She can also start a treatment plan to cure and prevent spreading, thereby avoiding more serious medical complications.

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Monday, October 8, 2012

Good Boots, Good Fit and Happy Feet!

English: Boot with wooden sole and leather upp...
Boot with wooden sole and leather upper, made by the Danish company Sanita. Colour wood and light blue. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As cooler weather approaches you are probably looking for that must have pair of boots to go with almost any outfit. You want something versatile, warm and outrageously sexy. You can get all three in one pair if you do some looking, but the important thing to keep in mind is function over fashion. You always want to consider the overall welfare of your feet.

When contemplating what would be the perfect pair to complement your winter wardrobe, you may want to consider the following:
  • Color
  • Shaft height
  • Heel height
  • Construction
  • Heel and sole composition
The style that most adequately answers this call to duty is the leather riding style boot. They are well constructed and easily water-proof for protection against wet and salt. Also, it is easy to re-treat them as needed. The leather riding style boots are durable and function well.

If you are more of the cowboy boot type, they are a great boot for autumn, but don’t carry through to winter well because of the smooth leather soles. They come in an endless variety of colors and designs and are great with jeans, slacks and just about all casual wear. They are great for both guys and gals, but there are some fitting details you should be aware of.
  • Make sure the shank fits your foot. The break in the boot should coincide with your arch.
  • The ball of your foot needs to settle into the widest part of the boot.
  • Try the pinch test for width. Try to pinch leather between your thumb and forefinger across the foot top of the boot. There should be a small allowance for movement, but not enough excess material to grasp.
Inappropriate and poor fitting shoes can cause a multitude of foot problems. Never force your foot to fit the boot. Boots needs to conform to your foot. Also, shop for shoes in the afternoon when your feet are apt to be a bit swollen. Don’t think footwear will feel better once they are broken in. If they don’t fit in the store, the situation will not improve at home. As heel height increases, so does the pressure on the ball of the foot and toes. Keep heel height to two inches or less. Dr. Boucher has other excellent shoe fitting advice on her website -

If you have foot pain, call Dr. Boucher for an accurate diagnosis at (203)238-3668. She can send you home feeling better than when you walked in. Getting help for your foot pain is a first step in the right direction.

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